A young boy befriends an old violin maker who teaches him the beauty of music and friendship.
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Grade 3-5-- When John's mother sends him to Mr. MacLoegaire's woodworking shop to have her old rocker repaired, a friendship is born between the boy and the old man. They both love music; when Mr. MacLoegaire is not mending furniture, he makes violins. To John's great pleasure, Mr. MacLoegaire teaches him to play a small teardrop fiddle, and the two friends spend many hours playing together during the turning and the falling of the year. But in December, the old man becomes ill, and John begins to feel "sure that he will never see Mr. MacLoegaire again, even if the grownups couldn't quite bring themselves to say so." On Christmas day, John unceremoniously learns the truth from his Aunt Rin, who has also befriended the old man. But Aunt Rin brings something Mr. MacLoegaire has left for John--his very own violin. Time and place are not explicitly stated, but the atmosphere is that of a New England village a couple of generations ago. Sewall's pen-and-wash drawings, such an integral part of the book, seem to bear that out. The people, like the land that produced them, are spare, not given to expressing deep emotions easily. The difficulty John's family has in telling him of his friend's death may jar some readers. Others will welcome Foley's first book for its convincing portrayal of a friendship between a boy and an elderly man. --Ann Stell, The Smithtown Library, NY
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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